The Regional District of Central Kootenay has agreed to help a couple remove their home from a slide zone in the Slocan Valley. Photo: Connor Trembley

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has agreed to help a couple remove their home from a slide zone in the Slocan Valley. Photo: Connor Trembley

Agreement reached to help Slocan Valley couple remove home in slide zone

The RDCK is going to pitch in

by John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Valley Voice

A Slocan Valley couple is going to get help to remove their abandoned home from their property perched high above the Little Slocan River.

Scott Carlson and Christa Brakmann’s house is in danger of sliding into the river, as erosion eats away at the property.

The couple hasn’t lived in the building since the spring, and have moved to Castlegar.

But the house still remains a danger, and in November RDCK officials settled with the couple on a deal to help them get the building off the property before it tumbles down to the water.

The agreement was revealed in the minutes of the December RDCK board meeting.

“The purpose of the agreement is to make clear the understanding that the RDCK will work to remove the house, but that the liability ultimately still remains with the homeowners,” says Chris Johnson, the director of the RDCK’s Emergency Operations Centre.

“For example, if the RDCK is not able to remove the house due to safety concerns, and it falls down the bank and impacts the river, the RDCK will not be held liable.”

With the legal technicalities settled, the regional government and homeowners can begin work on demolishing the building and removing its materials. The couple faces a complete loss on what was to be their retirement home, and couldn’t afford to have it removed themselves.

While it’s a private building on private property, Johnsons says the RDCK has a duty to ensure the building doesn’t create an environmental hazard.

“All local authorities within B.C. are legislated to operate and maintain an emergency management program to manage and coordinate responses to emergencies within their political boundaries,” he told the Valley Voice. “In this case, the emergency is an imminent threat of a deleterious substance entering a waterway.

“Within our role in managing the emergency, our goal is to remove the hazard (the house) before it has a negative impact on the environment (the river and its ecosystem).”

It’s not known how much it will cost to remove the building from the property, as it’s still not even clear it will be safe to have work crews on the site. But Johnson says he hopes crews will be able to take down the home before spring runoff intensifies erosion on the property.

“Due to the nature of the unstable slope, we are, as of yet, unsure what a safe working distance from the edge will be,” he says. “We currently have geotechnical experts monitoring the slope to understand how active it is.

“From this data, a safe work distance will be determined, then a viable method of removal identified, and finally, an overall cost understood.”

Johnson says their first priority is the health and safety of the crews who’ll be asked to work on the site.

“If qualified professionals determine that the instability of the slope makes it unsafe for removal of the structure, we’ll have to look at other options,” he says.

READ MORE: RDCK working to help couple losing home in landslide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Selkirk College’s Tenth St. Campus in Nelson is among the locations where Interior Health will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine within the West Kootenay. Photo: Selkirk College
West Kootenay vaccine locations announced

Interior Health has released a list of places to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

The Trail Smoke Eaters hope to hear news this week on a potential return to play. Photo: Jim Bailey
Smoke Eaters, league still wait for go ahead from province

The BCHL is trying to work out a return to play plan with the province

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

Most Read